The MDC, as an idea whose time was ripe, was endorsed on 26 February 1999 by over 700 men and women from all walks of life who converged at the women’s bureau in Hillside, Harare, for two days.
They set up various committees and sub committees to examine a whole gamut of Zimbabwean issues, only to resolve that the only way out was the need to challenge Zanu PF politically. During this convention key resolutions were adopted and the implementation of these have continued to guide the MDC in a quest to address a myriad of issues and imbalances created by Zanu PF.
The working people’s convention then gave birth to a political movement, the MDC, seven months later at Rufaro Stadium in Harare.
The MDC was then formed on the basis of carrying on the struggle of the people; the struggle for food and jobs; peace; dignity, decency and democracy; equal distribution of resources; and justice, transparency and equality of all Zimbabweans. Against this background, the MDC became a logical continuation and conclusion of the full realisation of the rights of the children, women and men of Zimbabwe and all those who live in it.
On 26 January 2000 the party had its inaugural congress at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex. Morgan Tsvangirai became President. A constitution for the party was adopted. Zanu PF immediately entrenched political violence as a political culture, leading to dozens of deaths and massive displacements of the poor in the rural areas. The situation remains unchanged to this day.
A general election was held on the 26th of June and the MDC officially won 57 seats against Zanu PF’s 63. However violence intensified after June 2000. Zanu PF proceeded to steal the presidential election of March 2002 but the party remained steadfast in its endeavour to bring about change and a new Zimbabwe.
2005 Parliamentary Election
In 2005, the party “with a heavy heart” participated in the parliamentary election which was against a background of massive violence and intimidation and an uneven electoral playing field. The party won 41 seats of the 120 contested seats. The party split in 2005 due to external interference: there was a feeling in the majority that participating in the senate election was not only a waste of resources but would not advance the central strategic objective of the party, namely to bring Zanu PF hegemony to an end.
2006 Watershed Congress
On 16-19 March 2006 the MDC held its watershed congress and substantial resolutions were passed, peaceful and democratic means to push the aged dictator out were to be the hallmark of the future. That congress adopted a roadmap to legitimacy whose signposts and benchmarks saw the final collapse of the Zanu PF monolith and the termination of that party’s political monopoly.
Zanu PF’s demise culminated in Mugabe accepting defeat. He agreed to recognise the MDC and brought himself to a negotiating table to save his face. On 25 August 2008, the MDC officially took control of Parliament and elected the then acting national Chairman Lovemore Moyo as the speaker, a post jealously held that was held by Zanu PF since independence in 1980.
Coalition Government & the 3rd National Congress
On the 11th of January 2009, President Morgan Tsvangirai became the Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe. With his assumption of duty as head of government, Zanu PF effectively crushed its own spine and has since survived through the control of a mere 37 percent of the organs of the state in a coalition it previously vowed would never be seen in Zimbabwe.
The party held its third national congress in April 2011. Apart from the new National Executive and National Council, Hon Douglas Mwonzora, Solomon Madzore and Abednico Bhebhe rose through the ranks into the Standing Committee. Hon Mwonzora became the Secretary for Information and Publicity; Madzore took over as the youth chairperson while Bhebhe became the deputy national organiser.
After the massively rigged July 31 2013 election some party officials walked away from the party raising calls for leadership renewal. After these calls, the party held an extra ordinary congress in October 2014. The 4th National Congress of October 2014 saw Mr. Douglas Mwonzora taking the reigns as the party’s Secretary General while Hon Paurina Mpariwa became his deputy. Mrs Makone became the National Treasurer and Charlton Hwende became the Deputy National Treasurer. Abednico Bhebhe was elevated to become the National Organising Secretary and Amos Chibaya deputising him after the passing on of Thamsanqa Mahlangu.
Obert Chaurura Gutu became the party’s information and publicity secretary being deputised by Hon. Thabitha Khumalo
President Morgan Tsvangirai appointed Advocate Nelson Chamisa together with Engineer Elias Mudzuri as Vice Presidents on July 16 2016.
On 7 February, President Tsvangirai anointed Advocate Nelson Chamisa the Acting President.
A week later, on February 14 2018. President Tsvangirai succumbed to cancer of the colon and the National Council, the party’s supreme decision-making organ between Congresses, resolved and confirmed Hon. Advocate Nelson Chamisa as the party’s substantive leader and the party’s Presidential candidate for 2018.
He was laid to rest at his rural home in Humanikwa village, Buhera on 20 February 2018.
The National Council of 23 March 2018, fired the then Vice president, Thokozani Khupe, spokesperson Obert Gutu and Organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe for insubordination. Thabitha Khumalo took over as the party’s Acting Spokesperson and Amos Chibaya the National Organiser.
Hon, Senator Komichi became the National Chairperson following the resignation of Lovemore Ndodana Moyo from the party.